100 Years Ago: Letter from a Comrade on Death of John Corby

The Intelligencer June 26, 1916 (page 3)

“Letters from Overseas. The following particulars regarding the death of John Corby, forwarded by a Belleville soldier with a request to publish, will be of interest to Intelligencer readers. While the information is authentic, the writer wishes his identity withheld. The letter reads:

I suppose by the time this reaches you, you will have received the news of John Corby’s death. I can tell you we all feel it very bad, for we have been together all the way through since leaving Barriefield, and he was one of the best chums I had. I am sure his mother will feel it dreadful.

We were unloading ammunition together that night and he told me there was a big mail in from Canada and he had received two letters from home. There was a scrap out in the front of here and our D.C. had ordered up four hundred rounds. They started shelling our roads and kept it up until after midnight—it was awful. We stood at our dugout and watched the teams going up to the eighteen pounders—they are in a more advanced position than the howitzer guns.

Corby’s team arrived about nine o’clock after coming through a regular hell of fire, but were caught on the return trip about one and a half miles from Ypres on the main road. The sergeant in charge of the wagon was also killed, and two other fellows wounded.

Jack was dead when picked up and never suffered any pain, the piece entering the back of his head. We buried the body last night in the cemetery, a village near here, and a priest from one of the battalions took charge of the burial. I am sending some of his things home to his mother. He is buried near Pat Yeomans.”